Letters to the Editor for March 9, 2011

By Jayson Jacoby, The Baker City Herald

How we got into this mess

To the editor:

The way the network news people tell it, it's a big mystery. The deficit, I mean. And states are broke. Mystery? My gramma's corset laces! It's been looming the past 30 years.

Let's say it all started when everyone went to computers to do the work

of an army of clerks (and pocketed the saved wages as profit).

Next they (the big industrial corporations) went for automation. And

that eliminated many thousands of jobs. And took a whack out of their

market because all these laid off workers could no longer buy the stuff

they used to make. Not incidentally, public services spending increased

sharply to help these laid off people.

The next bright corporate idea was moving the factories to Korea,

Mexico, China, India, anyplace with coolie wages and no unions. And we

haven't even mentioned the several great corporate scams that finally

collapsed the economy.

Now the only thing those guys running things can think of is to slash

basic services. Cut more jobs. Slash the wages of jobs remaining.


So where do we go from here?

Electronics, automation, the internal combustion engine, television and

other things have reshaped our world - sometimes for the better and

sometimes not. Each of these, as labor-saving devices, should have

resulted in a sharing of the resultant reduced number of jobs by either

a shortened work day or week at the same wages. But that would not be

very profitable to the owners. As it happened, corporations, being

about profits, not human well-being, opted to go for profit only and

dumped workers.

I have long wondered how we, the majority class, would be able to

wrestle with the powerful corporations who have all but swallowed us

and our democracy, because we have no large political party with which

to take 'em on electorally, while they have two.

The protests in Wisconsin and Ohio may provide the answer. If it lasts

long enough, and if we win, may come a happy resolution of the present

Great Recession, a new major political party and actual full employment.

Dan Martin

Baker City

The Baker City Herald
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